Celer Network is
a coherent technology and economic architecture that brings Internet scale to existing and future blockchains through off-chain scaling techniques. It can scale out to billions of trust-free, secure, and private off-chain transactions per second. Celer Network is on a mission to fully unleash the power of blockchain and revolutionize how decentralized applications are built and used.
Secure & Private
innovations in both blockchain technologies and cryptoeconomic mechanisms.
Layered architecture with clear abstractions and interfaces. Reduces complexities in the system design, development and maintenance. Enables rapid evolution of each individual component.
Generalized state channel and sidechain suite. Supports fast state transitions with generic dependency DAG on networked channels. Flexible constructs to maximize liquidity utilization.
Provably optimal value transfer routing with transparent channel balancing. 15X higher throughput compared to state-of-the-art solutions. Fully decentralized with high failure resilience.
Development framework and runtime for off-chain enabled applications. Provides common design patterns, and handles the operation, storage, tracking, and dispute of off-chain states.
Application ecosystem running on Celer Network. Scale out to billions of private off-chain transactions per second with no compromise on trust or decentralization guaranteed by the blockchains.
Cryptoeconomic model that provides network effect, stable liquidity, and high availability for the ecosystem. Includes proof of liquidity commitment, liquidity backing auction, and state guardian network.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Celer Network?
Celer Network is an Internet-scale, trust-free, and privacy-preserving platform where everyone can quickly build, operate, and use highly scalable decentralized applications. It is not a standalone blockchain but a generic networked system running on top of existing and future blockchains. It provides unprecedented performance and flexibility through innovations in off-chain scaling techniques and incentive-aligned cryptoeconomics.
What is the role and value of off-chain scaling?
Blockchains such as Ethereum are slow because each operation needs to be processed by most of the nodes to reach on-chain consensus, which is exactly "how to build a super slow distributed system" every CS student learned from their Computer Systems 101. New on-chain consensus improvements such as sharding and various Proof-of-X are keep getting proposed and developed. They make the blockchain relatively faster with different tradeoffs, but cannot change the fundamental limitations of on-chain consensus, and thus are far from Internet-level scalability.
Off-chain scaling techniques allow mutually distrustful parties to execute a contract locally among themselves instead of the global blockchain. Involved parties maintain a fraud-proof off-chain replicated state machine, and only resort to on-chain consensus when absolutely necessary (e.g., when two parties disagree on a state). Off-chain scaling is not merely an optimization but the only way to support fully scale-out dApps with better privacy and no compromise on the trust and decentralization guarantees. It is the inflection point for blockchain mass adoption and will be the engine behind all large scale decentralized applications.
Billions of transactions per second? Really?
We envision a future with a decentralized ecosystem where people, computers, mobile and IoT devices can perform secure, private, and trust-free exchange of information and value at massive scale.
Off-chain platform enables fully scale-out dApps because most transactions are processed by only involved participants, while still being secure and trust-free. The total system throughput can near-linearly increase as more nodes join. Therefore, billions or even more transactions per second can be achieved as long as enough nodes and applications are running on the off-chain platform.
How is Celer different from off-chain payment networks?
Celer Network is a platform for highly scalable decentralized applications, with a payment network being one component of the ecosystem. Off-chain transactions in Celer can be arbitrary fraud-proof state transitions such as generic conditional payment, multi-party game move, second price auction bid, high-frequency token exchange, etc.
Existing off-chain payment proposals have significant defects in generality, routing, and cryptoeconomics. While Celer has a much bigger scope than payment solutions, it also makes groundbreaking improvements to off-chain payment networks on both technical and cryptoeconomic fronts.
How does cChannel support fast generic off-chain transactions?
How does cRoute improve off-chain value transfer?
Value transfer routing is crucial for a decentralized off-chain platform. Existing solutions all essentially come down to variants of conventional distributed shortest path routing algorithms, which hardly work due to the fundamental differences between the link models of traditional computer networks and the off-chain value transfer networks. The link capacity of a computer network is stateless and stable (i.e., not affected by past data transmissions). However, the link capacity of an off-chain network is stateful (i.e., determined by on-chain deposits and past value transfers), which leads to a highly dynamic network where the topology and link states are constantly changing. This makes conventional distributed shortest path routing algorithms hard to (or never) converge on an active off-chain network, and thus yields low throughput, long delay, and even outages.
cRoute models the routing problem using distributed congestion pressure and routes value transfers using congestion gradients. cRoute is fully decentralized as nodes only need to talk to their neighbors, and is designed to be resilient to peer node failures because of its adaptive and multi-path nature. cRoute is provably optimal, as we prove that for any global value transfer arrival process, if the network can support the requested transfer pattern and rate (i.e., there exists a routing scheme that can deliver every transfer within a bounded delay), then cRoute can achieve it. Section 3 in our whitepaper describes the algorithm, proof, and evaluation results of cRoute.
What does cOS do?
An on-chain dApp is simply a frontend connecting to the blockchain. Off-chain dApps, though with great potentials for high scalability, are not as easy to build and use. Additional challenges include figuring out the correct dependency between arbitrary off-chain and on-chain states; handling the tracking, storage and dispute of off-chain states; making sure the off-chain states are always ready for possible on-chain dispute; tolerating intermediate node failures transparently; supporting multiple concurrent off-chain dApps; compiling the same unified code implementation down to different on-chain and off-chain components. cOS targets on exactly these challenges and provides a development framework and runtime for everyone to quickly build, operate, and use scalable off-chain dApps without being hassled by the additional complexities. Please check out section 4 in our whitepaper for more details on cOS.
How does cEconomy complete the off-chain ecosystem?
cEconomy is designed based on a fundamental principle: a good cryptoeconomic (token) model should provide additional values and enable new game-theoretical dynamics that are otherwise not available or suboptimal. While gaining scalability, an off-chain platform is also making tradeoffs on network liquidity and state availability, and it will never take off without a cryptoeconomic model that can enable new dynamics to balance out these tradeoffs.
cEconomy brings indispensable value to off-chain platforms and provides network effect, stable liquidity, and high availability through three tightly interconnected components including proof of liquidity commitment (PoLC), liquidity backing auction (LiBA), and state guardian network (SGN). Please read section 5 in our whitepaper and our blog post for more details on Celer cryptoeconomics.
We are a fast growing team of seasoned researchers and engineers with diverse expertise in distributed systems, networking, formal verification, game theory, mobile OS, smart contracts, and cryptoeconomics. Our founding members hold PhD degrees from world-renowned institutions such as MIT, Berkeley, Princeton, UIUC, and have track records of leading the development of some of the most cutting-edge networked systems in the industry. The team brings extensive experiences on building large-scale, high-performance, cost-efficient, resilient, and secure software systems to blockchain technologies.
Dr. Mo DongCo-Founder
Mo received his Ph.D. from UIUC. He was founding engineer and product manager at Veriflow, working on network formal verification. He is expert in applying algorithmic game theory to protocol design, and teaches full-stack smart contract courses with hundreds of students graduated.
Dr. Junda LiuCo-Founder
Junda received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. He joined Google in 2011 to build its datacenter networking infrastructure, and then was founding member of Project Fi mobile service since 2014. He was also the Android Tech Lead for carrier services, which run on more than 1.5 billion devices.
Dr. Xiaozhou LiCo-Founder
Xiaozhou received his Ph.D. from Princeton University. His works have been published at premier venues in distributed systems, networking, storage, and data management, and have become core components of Google TensorFlow, Intel DPDK, and Barefoot Deep Insight.
Dr. Qingkai LiangCo-Founder
Qingkai received his Ph.D. from MIT. His research focuses on various learning and control problems that arise in networked systems, especially on online learning algorithms in adversarial networks, which have been successfully applied in Raytheon BBN Technologies and Bell Labs.
Dr. Christos KozyrakisTechnical Advisor
Christos is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University, a fellow of the ACM and the IEEE. He is broadly interested in secure and energy-efficient distributed systems.
Dr. Alan MishchenkoTechnical Advisor
Alan has been a Research Scientist at UC Berkeley since 2002. He specializes in building fast and scalable tools for design automation, and developing computationally efficient methods for logic synthesis and formal verification.
Dr. Shoucheng ZhangAdvisor
Shoucheng is a Professor of Physics at Stanford University, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the US National Academy of Science. He founded Danhua Capital in 2013 and serves as the Chairman.
- cChannel: generalized state channel contract release
- cRoute: continued research and evaluation
- cOS: SDK private beta release
- cEconomy: PoLC testnet launch
- Community: 400 cApp developers onboard
- cChannel: multi-blockchain support
- cRoute: large-scale emulation and algorithm tuning
- cOS: SDK public v1.0 release
- cEconomy: PoLC mainnet launch
- Community: first off-chain service provider launch
- cChannel: unified interface for state channel and sidechain
- cRoute: implementation and test
- cOS: SDK public v2.0 (with VM-native bridge beta) release
- cEconomy: LiBA and SGN testnet launch
- Community: more third-party cApps
- cChannel: continued blockchain expansion and integration
- cRoute: test and deploy
- cOS: SDK public v3.0 (with sidechain support) release
- cEconomy: LiBA and SGN mainnet launch
- Community: more off-chain service providers
- cChannel: cross-chain interoperability
- cRoute: production measurement and optimization
- cOS: SDK public v4.0 (with VM-native bridge) release
- Community: large-scale cApps ecosystem
Joey Krug, Chief Investment Officer from Pantera says: "The big problems with state channels so far have been the lack of good routing algorithms and no easy to use SDKs for developers to build with them: Celer has solutions to both. We need off chain scaling in order for blockchain tech to hit mass adoption, and Celer is at the forefront."
Professor Shoucheng Zhang, Founding Partner of DHVC says: "We believe Celer is the first off-chain solution with not only a comprehensive technology architecture but also with a token model design that provides true economic value to the platform."
Shuoji Zhou, CEO of FBG says: "Celer network is well positioned to connect a wide range of blockchain applications and public blockchain ecosystems together. It can be a nexus of the decentralized world."